The Royal Treatment by Christina Dare

The Confucius Institute of Hong Kong dedicates itself to the promotion of Chinese language, exchanges, and provides local residents activities and programs to deepen their knowledge of Chinese history and traditional culture.

 We were lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit the Confucius Institute of Hong Kong (CIHK) located at PolyU. We were greeted graciously by staff and invited into an elegant meeting room where we listened to a lecture about traditional Chinese ancestral worship ceremonies. I found this to be especially interesting because as a third generation American born Chinese, my family does not practice these ceremonies to the same extent that the tradition was set.  I was able to connect what I know back to the original tradition and see how things have evolved through the generations over time.

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By far, the best part of the day (and one of my favorite moments of the whole trip) was when we got the chance to try on traditional Chinese worshiping robes. It is hard to describe just how beautiful and intricate each one was but I will say that wearing it gave a sense of utter luxury. According to tradition, robes are worn by all – from emperors to common folk. It was explained that over time, the design of the robes evolved from different lengths, necklines and material. One by one, we were dressed by the CIHK staff who showed how each robe differed from the next and how it was meant to be worn and tied in a specific way. We had so much fun with our mini fashion show…. I think the boys had more fun than the girls!

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Unfortunately it was time for us to give back the beloved robes and we continued on to some snacks that the CIHK generously provided for us. We had dumplings, bell peppers with fish paste, curry fish balls and milktea! We ate our snacks and chatted until our time at the CI came to an end.

 It’s safe to say that this trip so far has been an exciting and once in a lifetime treat for all of us. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity but even more grateful towards the HK Polytechnic University, Confucius Institute and all of the staff for going out of their way to give us such a memorable and fun stay in Hong Kong!

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